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Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/05/07 - 7:54 AM Permalink

  • 1. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 16 May 2007 22:30:29ZWhat a completely hearless, money grubbing, little nob end this guy is. To make a "ransom" demand to remove it and a higher price for an apology. So what's that 2K divided by 32 dead people? Life's pretty cheap it appears.
  • 2. Talvash - Thu, 17 May 2007 8:19:40ZHe is getting his 15 mins of fame from this, thats probably all he really wanted anyway.
  • 3. Anonymous Cowpat - Thu, 17 May 2007 8:41:51ZHey, he can say whatever he wants. More power to him.

    Doesn't stop him from being an a**hole.

  • 4. Apologetic Abuser - Thu, 17 May 2007 11:9:55ZI can't stomach situations like this.
    I feel like I get angry to the point of being almost too cool and calm to react.

    Not only are the memories of those people who died thoroughly humiliated in this game, but also are the struggling people out there trying to get on with their lives after this tragety.

    Not only that, but the medium used also implies a heartlessness that the likes of our favourite Uncle Jack (

  • 5. Dele - Thu, 17 May 2007 11:14:50Zwow 6 times in a row there apologetic abuser.

    i agree with Talvash. he just wants his 15 mins of fame.

  • 6. Dele - Thu, 17 May 2007 11:15:23Zor maybe it was just a bug on my end.... cos now theres only one post...
  • 7. Apologetic Abuser - Thu, 17 May 2007 11:16:45ZCont. You know who I'm talking about) would jump on with all fours to destroy. This is not only a form of Interactive media (the likes of which we strive to create at crunch time) but it's a bad one. The media will only see another GOR-ified "video-game". This doen't help us one bit with try to show the general public that every out there can enjoy interative media.

    I'm sorry that the families have had to suffer this kind of more focussed attention.

    Apologies also to the spam attack and seperated message... not sure what happened there...

  • 8. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 11:17:52ZIs it in extreme bad taste? Definitely. And to grab some money while he's at it? Really, really appalling.

    Also, I just don't get his comments on his sympathy for the gunman. So what if that guy never got listened to. Anyone who massacres 32 people gets no sympathy from me, no matter what their situation is. There's no justification for it whatsoever.

  • 9. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 11:19:0Z21 year old Sydney resident, Ryan Lambourn, let me say that you are an absolute moron.
  • 10. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 12:28:16ZHaha, right on. I find the whole thing thoroughly uninteresting. The game is shit, an obvious attempt to shock and create outrage, nothing we haven't seen before. And his ransom idea is hilarious, but only in the sense that nobody will ever pay it. Not sure if he ever expected it to get this big though. Now he's gone and pissed off a whole lot of people across the world and got his name, resident city and a photo of himself plastered across the net. It seems the internet is not lacking its own sort of karma. I hope the 2 minute slot on local news stations across the world was worth it to you mate...
  • 11. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 15:25:1ZIt's just not his name and resident city. Sites have his mobile number and home address up as well... I think this game really was a bad move on his part. If you are going to do such a game, you really need to have some moral lesson involved like: society creates these very human monsters. And should take some responsibility for creating them and address the real issues involved. Not just pass them over.

    He is just a young idiot looking for some short-lived narcissistic fame.

  • 12. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 15:41:1ZIt's kind of interesting this is getting so much publicity when back in the day Newgrounds got popular due in big part to the Pico game.
  • 13. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 17:7:14ZHe's backpedalling at the moment, saying that the ransom was a joke and that he hasn't received a cent yet. Nice try, but it's too late to save yourself now.
  • 14. Michael Dobele - Thu, 17 May 2007 17:15:35ZJJJ's news program 'Hack' will be speaking to Ryan Lambourn on their program 5:30pm today. As it's ABC you should also be able to download the [pdcast of it within the next day or so.

    Will be interesting to see what he hsa to say.

  • 15. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 17:17:18ZI'm really quite tired of videogames' bad publicity.

    And this: "No one listens to you unless you've got something sensational to do." is one of the worst things i've ever heard anyone say.

    If your personal goal in life is to get readers of the Herald-Sun or the viewers of Today Tonight to hear about you - then mission accomplished.

    Me? I'd rather reach out and entertain an intelligent audience.

  • 16. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 17 May 2007 22:0:20ZMr Lambourn posted the following message on his newgrounds page: "My site is down because they got too many angry emails and they won't put it back up with vtech still on it. At least newgrounds still believes in freedom of speech, thanks."
  • 17. Insanely Sane - Thu, 17 May 2007 23:19:1ZFrom what I understand (haven't played the game) there is no message behind the game. Nor does the creator seem to have a real opinion (not much of a debate with such a weak argument that "no one listens to you unless you've got something sensational to do" and no more to strengthen a perspective). What seems worrying is the fact that a 21 year old brat can be so removed from the reality of it - he really doesn't know what it must feel like to have lost someone like that. That's why its all "a joke" (its only funny until you understand that its really not funny at all). Games should be used to make a statement, to reach people, to inspire, to express a perspective, to offer an experience one might crave but could never do in real life (shooting aliens, GTA style mayhem etc).. Instead, this guy offers a blatantly empty experience - and no depth to justify thought going into some possible debate. He's infuriated people without understanding at all the extent of his actions and his '15 minutes' of fame will cost him dearly at some point in his life (Guaranteed. That is sweet karma/nature's way of balancing things)
  • 18. jackydablunt - Fri, 18 May 2007 2:15:1ZIt will cost him dearly at some point? Ohh man this kid just committed career and social suicide. He ain't gonna be working anywhere in this industry or probably any other for a long time I think. I know I certainly wont be forgetting his face or name. Who in their right mind would go near him after this?

    Now I myself have said things in bad taste in the past at the wrong moments, I'd imagine most people have, but even a crappy indie game like that takes time to make, long enough anyway for even a socially inept person to wake up the next day and go "shit thats a bad idea" But this kid had a month, and he still went through with it, and not only that but he actually, actually thought he'd hold some kind of ransom and people would scurry about in horror in an attempt to gather 'donations' to silence this wicked villain.

    "Ohh I wont demand too much money because they'll be more likely to pay it, and I'll break it into a 2k then additional 1k installments so once they pay the first they might as well pay the second! aaannd I'll refer to it as a donation, so as to avoid legal complications!" Yeah the perfect f(percent)&king crime, who are you Ming the f(percent)&king Merciless? Good luck in the future with that on your name son because here's a news flash, it ain't going away. How you feel right now, like maybe perhaps you shouldn't have made that game? Well this is going to be your entire existence for a lonnng time, and no matter how hard you try, you will NOT get used to it.

    Wanker.

  • 1. BHunter007 - Thu, 31 May 2007 20:51:51 ESTTo jackydablunt:
    Blacklisting him is a bit too harsh and a bit unnecessary in my eyes. However, I don't like him, and I think his ransoms are retarded.
    I also agree he is a wanker.
  • 1. Jackydablunt - Thu, 31 May 2007 21:56:13 ESTI'm not asking others to blacklist him, if they want to work with someone like that, they can. But I don't want to work with people like that, and there's just no use in having them around. If you've not learned the most simplistic lessons of social behaviour such as empathy, restraint, respect, and just plain self awareness by the age of 21, then you wont learn them, and I don't want anything to do with someone like that.

    Even if he was the greatest technician and was incredible at production, a personality like that would just bring the team down, so nope, no way.

  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 1. Jackydablunt - Thu, 31 May 2007 21:56:13 ESTI'm not asking others to blacklist him, if they want to work with someone like that, they can. But I don't want to work with people like that, and there's just no use in having them around. If you've not learned the most simplistic lessons of social behaviour such as empathy, restraint, respect, and just plain self awareness by the age of 21, then you wont learn them, and I don't want anything to do with someone like that.

    Even if he was the greatest technician and was incredible at production, a personality like that would just bring the team down, so nope, no way.

  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 1. BHunter007 - Thu, 31 May 2007 20:51:51 ESTTo jackydablunt:
    Blacklisting him is a bit too harsh and a bit unnecessary in my eyes. However, I don't like him, and I think his ransoms are retarded.
    I also agree he is a wanker.
  • 1. Jackydablunt - Thu, 31 May 2007 21:56:13 ESTI'm not asking others to blacklist him, if they want to work with someone like that, they can. But I don't want to work with people like that, and there's just no use in having them around. If you've not learned the most simplistic lessons of social behaviour such as empathy, restraint, respect, and just plain self awareness by the age of 21, then you wont learn them, and I don't want anything to do with someone like that.

    Even if he was the greatest technician and was incredible at production, a personality like that would just bring the team down, so nope, no way.

  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 1. Jackydablunt - Thu, 31 May 2007 21:56:13 ESTI'm not asking others to blacklist him, if they want to work with someone like that, they can. But I don't want to work with people like that, and there's just no use in having them around. If you've not learned the most simplistic lessons of social behaviour such as empathy, restraint, respect, and just plain self awareness by the age of 21, then you wont learn them, and I don't want anything to do with someone like that.

    Even if he was the greatest technician and was incredible at production, a personality like that would just bring the team down, so nope, no way.

  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 1. BHunter007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:04:38 ESTTrue enough.
  • 19. Anonymous Coward - Fri, 18 May 2007 4:55:23ZForget this arsewipes game. Try the casual zombie game: The Last Stand, instead. It should still be on the last page.

    One of the best I've played. Perhaps a little too easy, especially when you unlook the last gun.

  • 1. BHunter007 - Thu, 31 May 2007 20:53:17 ESTTo Anonymous Coward:
    Tried that- Easy after getting Barret. Chainsaw was funny though. Should have allowed more people, more weapon slots and more waves but anyway......
  • 1. BHunter007 - Thu, 31 May 2007 20:53:17 ESTTo Anonymous Coward:
    Tried that- Easy after getting Barret. Chainsaw was funny though. Should have allowed more people, more weapon slots and more waves but anyway......
  • 20. Anonymous Coward - Fri, 18 May 2007 4:56:1ZThat's front-page, on Newgrounds... to make it a bit clearer.
  • 21. Apologetic Abuser - Fri, 18 May 2007 11:52:30ZAmen to that Jackydablunt
  • 22. Anonymous Dude - Fri, 18 May 2007 14:34:21ZHe shouldn't have agreed to appear on TV.

    Someone might actually give him a job anyway,

  • 23. rezn0r - Fri, 18 May 2007 16:58:2ZI think the whole thing has been blown a litle out of proportion. The fact that the media latched onto this and made it big news is the most alarming thing. Is there nothing going on in the world that's more important than the carryings on of an internet troll?

    There are always going to be adolescent minds that poke fun at serious situaions like this. It's pretty common for attention seeking adolescents (particularly boys) to make a mockery of sensitive issues. People are usually cured of this when they've lived long enough to experience personal loss for themselves, gaining new insights and sensitivities.

    He's a silly boy, the media that promote this are irresponsible, sensationalist bottom feeders, and I don't believe that what he did was in any way a clever politcal statement, an artistic gesture, or had a thought provoking message. It was plain and simple immaturity, which has been exploited by the media to the detriment of our industry's image.

    Scott.

  • 24. Anonymous Coward - Sat, 19 May 2007 12:29:45ZTotally agreed, rezn0r.
  • 25. Souri - Sat, 19 May 2007 20:12:7ZI've been reading on some of the debates about this controversial game, that it was a social commentary on how media sensationalizes tragedies like the V-Tech shooting, but I think the people who argued on the defense of the V-Tech game have got it all wrong. The guy who did this game really did do it to just piss people off...

    <a href="http://www.destructoid.com/virtual-school-shootings-interviewing-two-of…">http://www.destructoid.com/virtual-school-shootings-interviewing-two-of…;

  • 26. BHunter007 - Thu, 31 May 2007 20:47:39 EST*I HAD A FEELING*
    I knew that a game like this would pop up as soon as I heard about the shootings. It's inevitable. It took me 5 minutes after the surprise set in, in order to figure this out.

    *ABOUT THE GAME *
    I thought people would make a game like this but I thought it would because the makers were noobs and wanted a break into the higher circles with their definition of a "bril game". (Something I swore to try to prevent) I also expect him to turn up as a villain beside some other villains like Hitler, Bin-Laden and the like in a weird shoot-out game or a game like "King Of Heaven & Hell".
    I did NOT expect to see a ransom. That guy is so immature- I think no one will pay because there's no way to stop him from keeping this up here.

    *ABOUT THE MAKER*
    Ryan Lambourn is a tard. Cho almost (about 9/10) never replied when someone said hello. Makes you wonder why he was lonely and had no friends doesn't it? The ransom is also unrealistic. We couldn't give a damn if he kept this game up here. Not many (a significant amount) people would care about it and in time, it will become one of the "WW2 Nazi torture games", sitting on a shelf. Ryan probably typed up wrong- he should be 12 not 21.

    *THE GAME ITSELF*
    People will play it to be sure. Stuff like this will always have an audience, no matter how small. I won't worry too much about it.

    *THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THE DECEASED*
    Not many of them will look up the massacre so I'm relatively confident that this game won't affect them too badly. Irritating though

  • 27. Anonymous - Fri, 1 Jun 2007 09:19:17 ESTI love how outdated, commented to death and no one wants to read any more about it, news threads. Get someone posting long comments to them when there are newer news items to do so with.

    Perhaps there should be a time-limit on news items, giving them a set period where they can be commented on before they get out of date and are then marked as an "archive."

    Just a thought...

  • 28. Anonymous - Fri, 1 Jun 2007 18:05:14 ESTI guess his 15 minutes are up and well gone. No one cares about this idiot anymore.

A game based on the Virginia Tech Massacre has recently been uploaded on indie game site newgrounds.com. In the game, you play South Korean-born Cho Seung-hui, who last month shot dead 32 fellow students at the Virginia Tech campus, in the worst massacre of its kind in the US. The aim of the game is to basically kill everyone in the game, optionally starting with Emily Jane Hilscher, Cho?s first victim.

The games creator, 21 year old Sydney resident, Ryan Lambourn, says he will remove the game if he receives $US2000 in donations, and will also apologise for $US3000. Ryan added that he made the game ?because he thought it was funny?, and the idea of putting up the ransom demand was a ?hilarious idea?.

This game is in a similar vein to the indie RPG, Super Columbine Massacre, based on the Columbine Massacre, which was pulled from the Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition, amidst some controversy. Though V-Tech Rampage is not of a similar quality.

Ryan expressed his remorse for the victims of the massacre, but also sympathy for the gunman, saying "No one listens to you unless you've got something sensational to do. And that's why I feel sympathy for Cho Seung-hui. He had to go that far."

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/05/07 - 11:20 PM Permalink

  • 1. Ex Dude - Fri, 11 May 2007 15:7:43Zlol - good luck enforcing that...
  • 2. Tom - Fri, 11 May 2007 15:16:1Z'children who aren't adequately parented while online'

    Right there's your problem.

  • 3. Anonymous Coward - Fri, 11 May 2007 19:22:48ZI don't see how this is enforceable
  • 4. Anonymous Coward - Fri, 11 May 2007 19:48:53ZCan someone please think of the children!
  • 5. unit - Fri, 11 May 2007 23:32:4ZNot a snow-ball's chance in hell that this law will prove enforcable and the regulations of chatroons is particularly farcical. Are we going to regulate what people say to each other over mobile phones or evne face to face next?

    What a joke.

  • 6. LiveWire - Sat, 12 May 2007 8:23:5ZWhat exactly are they trying to enforce here? They mentions chat rooms which is, of course, a joke, as the only inappropriate material in them come from what people say themselves. As has been said, good luck with that.

    It also seems to imply that it will impose restrictions on sites containing adult content, which is somewhat more applicable to regulation, but what measures are they expecting sites to take? Provide an 18+ logging to view the content? Yeah, that'll stop the kids getting at it.

    And of course, in the end this will only be applicable to websites and services owned or hosted in Australia.

    Good to see the Australian government is intent on protecting the nation's children from a tiny percentage of online material through easily circumvented and ultimately useless laws.

    Clearly MP Sussan Ley has never used the internet before.

  • 7. Anonymous Coward - Sat, 12 May 2007 13:28:17ZYep, amen to that LiveWire, more useless red tape. Even trying to sanitize the internet with global cooperation between governments would be a hopeless, never ending battle. The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for kids. But at the end of the day, good parenting would be a much more effective defense against what's out there, than some laughable regulations applied to a handful of local companies. It's a shame governments are so afraid to tell parents to do their damn jobs as such and so quick to assign blame to things like video games and the internet. I guess it's just easier on ones own conscience to think the government is doing that part your job for you...
  • 8. Mick - Mon, 14 May 2007 10:30:7ZThe internet is more likely a dangerous place for governments. Particularly those that behave badly.
  • 9. Paranoid Individual - Mon, 14 May 2007 11:37:50ZCouldn't have said it better myself, Mick.

    This would worry me immensely if I didn't know how hopeless the attempt was.

With game developers pushing for the availability of an R rating for games in Australia, the federal government is choosing to impose restrictions on the internet, with new laws announced yesterday to introduce tougher regulations on companies that sell entertainment-related content on subscription internet sites and mobile phones. The bill creates new rules for live interactive content such as chat rooms and, supposedly, forums as well, as well as strengthening rules on stored content. The new rules bring the internet inline with traditional media content in Australia, with age verification requirements for R18+ and the banning of X18+ content.

The government said that the purpose of these laws was to protect Australian citizens, particularly children who aren't adequately parented while online, ?from illegal and highly offensive content delivered over convergent devices such as mobile handsets, and also over the internet more generally?.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was given an extra $16.3 million in Tuesday's Federal budget to ?ensure it was adequately resourced to carry out its role as regulator in the increasingly complex communications environment".

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/05/07 - 8:01 AM Permalink

  • 1. Anonymous Coward - Tue, 8 May 2007 22:43:12ZWhat next? They fly choppers down to SlySoft in Antigua and shoot everyone down?
    Maybe they can send Walker Texas Ranger down here on patrol to kick people in the head if they burn the American flag at protests.

    USA! World Police!

    Maybe we can get our most hardened criminal to watch a pirated copy of Bring It On in the prison and the US will fly down and take them off our hands.

  • 2. Dele - Tue, 8 May 2007 22:53:34ZThis guy asked for it, leading a cracking group. that being said, i dare say that almost everybody has something pirated, whether it be mp3's or software. You could walk into almost any house and find something pirated. Its just that people are lucky that you have to lead some group ( or be in one ) or what not for it to be policed.
  • 3. Anonymous Coward - Tue, 8 May 2007 23:3:21ZYour are completely missing the point Dele, apparently since our Great Leader, that Man of Steel Little Johnny signed the free (f**ked) trade agreement we don't have out own justice system anymore. Bloody brown-nosing spinless liberals.

    Crimes committed in Australia *need* to be dealt with in Australia under Australian law.

    Atm it looks like we are just another state of the US.

  • 4. Anonymous Coward - Tue, 8 May 2007 23:6:53ZWell I don't think he should be serving time in an American jail.

    Why can't they just sentence him here?

  • 5. Anonymous Coward - Tue, 8 May 2007 23:32:20ZI wonder if the yanks are going to try billing us for his prison time while they're at it.
  • 6. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 9 May 2007 0:23:0ZHoly shit, I didn't realize the free trade agreement recognized people as barter between nations. The idea of being convicted in a country you've never set foot in, dread to think what the guy would've got if he were profiting from the operation. Something should really be done about this...
  • 7. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 9 May 2007 7:9:33ZIf we have to adhere to their laws, then we should be able to take part in their voting process such as selecting the senate and congress. It's all part of the democratic process. We fall under your laws, we should have a say in it, otherwise it's just plain tyranny.

    Wouldn't it be funny if, say a person (non-US citizen) smoked a joint in Amsterdam and since it broke US law, they were extradited to America to face punishment? Well, it sounds just as absurd as this bloke being dragged all the way to America.

    Blame the Howard government for being Bush's lapdog. When he signed that Free Trade Agreement, he opened the pandora's box and we're only starting to see the huge ramifications of it.

  • 8. Dele - Wed, 9 May 2007 11:15:3Zwhat i was getting at, was that the whole piracy deal isn't policed much. you have to be part of a major group ( or the leader in this case ) for something to happen. He should have been tried and sentenced here, not in America.

    but then, i guess they can't really police the regular home pirater, that is pirating software and other stuff. If they did, they would probably fill all the jails with uni students alone.

  • 9. Apologetic Abuser - Wed, 9 May 2007 12:55:46ZAC 7) Your situation would have to call for the narcotics to have been bought in America in the First Place.

    Here's one better: I buy a firearm in the states, I have it transfered legally through all the right channels, only to have it arrive, and I shoot someone... But instead of getting the usual jail cell/ three square meals a day/ etc.... I get the electric chair in the good ol' state of Texas where I bought it.... Why? Because crime associated with the misuse of purchase products will result in the legal codes of purchase origin being implemented.

    Understandable that poor Joe that dies because of my aggrevated assualt was Auastralian in the first place.

    Change the senario yet again:

    The guy I shot was an American touist, he didn't die, but he can't work again because of injuies sustained.

    There, I'm done ranting.

  • 10. R. - Fri, 11 May 2007 12:31:19Z
    Bearing in mind that violent crime often receives a gentle slap on the wrist... make damn sure you shoot somebody before your trial! it will reduce your sentence, I'm serious!

In an Australian first, US authorities have demonstrated their ability to enforce US laws protecting US companies against Australians in Australia with the cooperation of the Australian government.

Hew Griffiths, leader of the software cracking group, Drink or Die, was extradited to the US last February on intellectual property charges, and faces up to 10 years in an American jail. Griffiths? group, Drink or Die, was involved in cracking copy-protected software and media products, distributing them free of charge. Griffith?s himself did not profit from the activities, and lived with his father, in a modest house in Berkeley Vale, NSW. In addition to the possible jail term of 10 years, Griffith?s could also be fined $US500,000.

Apparently, any Australian pirating software worth more than $1000 could be subject to this same extradition process. It?s a sobering thought to think that the Australian government will hand over Australians who break US law, to the US, even when they?ve never even stepped foot American soil.

News

Electronic Arts and ESPN STAR Sports have announced their collaboration to bring "Game" - the first-ever gaming program produced in the region for Pan-Asian audiences. The show debuted on April 18, 2007, exclusively on STAR Sports on the Southeast Asia, Singapore, Asia and Hong Kong networks. The show will also feature on STAR Sports India and STAR Sports Taiwan networks, and will soon be launched on the ESPN network in Pacific Rim.

Delivered by popular STAR Sports female presenter Drinie Aguilar, the new 30-minute weekly programme showcases the latest trends in gaming. ?Game? offers its audience the latest news, extensive reviews, event reports from around the world, and previews of the hottest upcoming titles.

The show will also include content that brings gaming and real-life sports closer together with segments like behind-the-scenes features, stories about top athletes and their favourite games. In addition to sports titles, a variety of games from different genres and publishers will be featured on the show as well.

Fans can catch "Game" exclusively throughout seven Asia-Pacific regions on STAR Sports networks in Asia, and on ESPN in Australia and New Zealand.

News

Stand up Canberra and be counted! You're now on the list!

Ok, the list isn't very big, and I've only just started it a few minutes ago, but Canberra can now join Melbourne in the states of Australia to have had some funky game related street art captured.

Kotaku, which quite often posts game related pics of street murals and cakes (as well as games news!), has a pic of a snazzy chalk mural taken in our capital state...

This very pastel, very cute Pac Man mural was plastered up on the old Woden bus depot in Canberra, Australia (fun trivia: this particular writer's home town). Canberra, much like many areas in Australia at the moment, is suffering through a severe drought. I say it was plastered, though, because it was there for an age and a day until I decided to post this, and then it went and rained for a week and a half, wiping it clean off. What are the odds!

We've posted about local game related street murals before, and it's always interesting to see how this originator of this piece tackles the tricky problem of replicating pixel art on a wall.

Well, ok, maybe it's not so tricky if you think about it, but please do click on the following link to check out the mural!

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 30/04/07 - 12:20 AM Permalink

  • 1. Ex Dude - Sun, 29 Apr 2007 22:33:9ZOh you have got to be kidding me?

    Why on Earth do people watch Big Brother? I mean, if I wanted to see bogans talking crap I would head to the train station...

    I pity the development team behind this...

  • 2. anonymous - Mon, 30 Apr 2007 9:1:1Zi really hope this doesn't turn into a trend like tv with all the reality tv shows.
    i've been playing games instead of watching tv for the last couple of years since tv has become so boring, and now they are entering the games industry as well.
    maybe there will be more of this with companies trying to attract more and more people into playing games.
  • 3. Anonymous Coward - Mon, 30 Apr 2007 10:8:27ZElectronic Arts? Maybe they're making Sims online for Big Brother. They've got to get some people on Sims online somehow!
  • 4. Anonymous Coward - Mon, 30 Apr 2007 12:1:21ZGames are the new TV!

    I think TV media is wondering how the heck to do to draw back the audience and this is what they came up with. Pretty futile though, with youTube and online video sharing and movie + tv episodes purchases getting hugely popular, who cares about TV.

    I'd rather bash my head against a wall than watch Big Brother

  • 5. Apologetic Abuser - Mon, 30 Apr 2007 12:41:5ZThank god that we don't need to play it if we don't want...

    well... cross that bridge when we get to it.

  • 6. Chameleon - Mon, 30 Apr 2007 12:45:45ZWhat annoys me more than the glut of pointless reality TV shows like Big Brother is the fact that they must actually be popular to be still running after so long. If they weren't making the commercial networks money, they wouldn't be on.

    Your best form of protest against these shows is to turn them off.

    The fact that they ARE popular, means a lot of people are watching and enjoying these shows, which is the biggest concern. Though funnily enough, no-one I talk to watches the show, in fact, many people quite freely express their disgust at it. Though I don't talk to that many primary and high-school kids... or downright thick people.

  • 7. Anonymous Coward - Mon, 30 Apr 2007 13:3:40ZBig Brother will never go away. It has the same massive audience that loves Australia's funniest home videos, Today Tonight, and A Current Affair. All terrible terrible programs aimed at braindead Australians who flock to these programs like sheep.

Electronic Arts and Big Brother creators Endemol group recently announced they will be teaming up for the development of Virtual Me, an entertainment concept that allows online players to take part in virtual TV Shows.

Avatar based players will be able to try their luck at virtual versions of game shows such as "Deal or No Deal" and "1 vs 100", or talent shows like "Fame Academy". VirtualMe.com, the location of the Virtual Me avatar creation system, will launch later this year and the concept will debut on Big Brother.

Peter Bazalgette, Endemol's Chief Creative Officer says "...people are starting to spend more time online than they are watching TV. Both markets are now important and this has huge implications for content creators. Our opportunity with Electronic Arts is to develop ideas that fully embrace the way people are consuming entertainment today."

News

Nintendo Australia have announced that Telstra will be opening up their wireless hotspots for Nintendo DS usage.

"This is an Australian first and is all about providing convenience through innovation, ensuring Nintendo DS users are automatically authenticated onto the Telstra Wireless Hotspot network whenever they enter a coverage zone."

The release mentions Melbourne and Sydney, but hopefully the service won't be limited to these regions. Simply allowing access at McDonalds hotspots would make a significant coverage boost. More information will be released soon at NintendoWiFi.com.au

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 31/03/07 - 2:25 PM Permalink

  • 1. Anonymous Coward - Sat, 31 Mar 2007 11:18:57Z"but who knew this sort of thing was so prolific around these parts!"

    It's not. Every industry has it's share of rogue elements. Just because you hear of a cop committing murder, does that mean the whole industry is corrupt? No.

    I can gurantee you no one has ever been offered sex to change a review score. From my 6 years of experience in games journalism I know of no confirmed instances of any of the "facts" Richie has put up.

    Here's a comment from Screen Play that sums up my feelings;

    "What a steaming pile of sensationalist, sanctimonious horseshit.

    I've been a games journalist for about 17 years. I launched PC PowerPlay and Atomic, I was the deputy editor on Hyper 15 years ago, I have either personally written hundreds of games reviews, or been overseeing editor of them.

    And like Jason, have never once been offered sex or money to influence a score. What an insanely ridiculous assertion.

    Nor have I once had any form of conversation prior to a reviews publication with the games developer, distributor, PR agency, anyone at all where an attempt has been made to influence the score via any means, including but not limited to advertising, travel, dinner, sex or money.

    Richie's most ludicrous assertion is that "2)Fact: be careful when you read an "exclusive" review. You probably already know this, but they are much-more-often-than-not tied to agreements about coverage or minimum scores.

    What's "much-more-often-that-not" mean? Say, that 75(percent) of the time there's a pre-publishing agreement for coverage or scores according to Richie? I can tell you that it's 0(percent), actually. Or at least in my experience.

    Yes, we are sometimes asked if we'll run a certain game on the magazine's cover, of course a PR or marketing person is going to raise that possibility with us, however we do not make a commitment to do so and it's never attached as a condition to "exclusive" access.

    I can also tell you that Richie's assertion that "travel and dinner" is used to win favour with journalists (and yes, Richie, we are journalists) absolutely does happen, but that happens in every single industry, as Richie well knows, and is most certainly not in any way a form of corruption.

    You want to develop a good relationship with someone you work with? You buy them a beer. But in no way has this ever affected scores. It just makes for a better personal relationship with the PR and distributor people we journos deal with every day.

    And I can tell you that in comparison with every other form of journalism I've been involved in gaming has the fewest the cheapest and the rarest of these 'junkets'. Richie should well and personally know, for example, just how rewarding it can be to be a sporting journalist.

    Of course, in all this I speak only from personal experience, the 17 years I've had at four separate publishing companies, thousands of conversations with hundreds of games industry people, working alongside dozens of my colleges, and under the direction of professionally and ethically run magazine and online publishers.

    If Richie wanted to make a splash as figurehead of the new Games Arena site, he could have instead chosen to provide some of the decent "journalism" he feels is so lacking. Instead he chose to position himself on some righteous high horse where he alone is honest and professional.

    Richie, you've unfairly cast a shadow over the games industry, its PR and marketing tactics. You've unfairly tried to blacken the reputation of your colleges, you've accused publishing houses of being without ethics or morals.

    And all to devalue the worth of games journalism to the Australian public, to whom, presumably, you are now its only reliable and honest source of journalism.

    For shame."

  • 2. Anonymous Coward - Sat, 31 Mar 2007 11:20:8ZTo clarify, I wasn't the one who wrote that on the Screen Play comments, it was Ben Mansill.
  • 3. Anonymous Coward - Sat, 31 Mar 2007 18:1:24Z"But how will gaming journalism, a relatively new field, gain any credibility when certain prominent outlets or even entire publishing groups whore out their editorial integrity (if I can even call it that)?" --Dan "Shoe" Hsu, Editor-in-Chief
  • 4. Anonymous Coward - Sun, 1 Apr 2007 10:57:58ZTrue, but all Richie's article has done is create sensationalist articles like "Australian Games Journalism a Shambles". It does nothing to help the problem.
  • 5. Insanely Sane - Sun, 1 Apr 2007 13:28:2ZThere are problems with Richie's article: not much of a journalistic article without some REAL facts, as opposed to opinion/suspicion, no names or instances that truly delve into the issue to gain credibility, no conclusions that have meat and reflect insight..

    When I read what he writes I ask myself what makes what he says credible (and he hasn't outlined any of the following points I'd have to consider):

    Who is this guy and what really is his point? Ok I've read (from another source) that he was such and such and edited x and y mags for a while . Apparently he's been around the block. So f*cking what. Doesnt sway an opinion if the article isnt focused or convincing.
    His point? is it AUSTRALIAN JOURNALISTS who are corrupt, and not really worthy of being called 'journalists' at all?! is it our industry that Richie is slamming? I dont think that is a fair accusation to make about his article.
    All he seems to say is that you shouldn't trust reviews at face value, and that you should be aware that there are things that go on behind the scenes (poorly written, though, without credibility through names or specific manifestations of this). He also has a gripe with some of his colleagues' self important attitude - so what? it might, or might not be true, but I've seen people in every single job position on this planet believe that they are more important than what they are, and give themselves titles that might not be that accurate.

    Its obvious that gaming companies need as good a review as possible because good reviews sell. Bad reviews might sell as well through heavy marketing although they are going to have a much harder time. And shit, some games are great and deserve far more than what they get in a review - it seems that reviewers sometimes are blind to the love and care of game and bring it down because of performance issues or bugs etc but does anyone truly believe that a games reviewer is going to change the facts about a games' graphics, performance, sound, gameplay etc because of sex (laughable. Period) and money? (always a possibility, but how would you justify the credibility of the review then?) i.e are AUSTRALIAN games reviewers to blame for how they review? I've found them to be subjective on certain subject matter, but far far more innocent and objective in picking out as much detail as they can from games they review. They seem far less sensationalist and awed by big publishers/developers grand epics and they are, to my mind, certainly not as aloof or corrupt in their work as Richie states.

    There are many variable extras that a reviewer is confronted with when reviewing a game. It should always be as objective as possible but the reality must include certain temptations to sway a review, if ever so slightly, in order to meet a specific, more personal goal. A commision of some sort (debatable how many people are 'corrupt' in their profession), maybe being light on an Australian game in order to support the developer for the greater good of the industry? It shouldnt be ruled out but these are details that require more depth in analysis and certainly a more effective journalist would know how to discuss this in a balanced way!

    The real shame is that Richie's article does not offer CONSTRUCTIVE attention to our struggling gaming industry here in Australia which would have given more credibility to his point and wouldn't alienate a large portion of hard working reviewers and industry people, as well as amateurs like myself. Instead, he leaves a sour impression of 'facts' (more like opinions) that we should be aware of about the 'behind the scenes' workings related to game reviews and their reviewers. BTW, anyone have a problem with the term 'journalist' for games reviewers? who gives a f*ck what they are termed if they can cover decent ground in an article - and Richie in my opinion ironically HASN'T!!!
    ....maybe he doesnt claim to be a journalist, in which case his article shouldn't have too much weight....

  • 6. Anonymous Coward - Sun, 1 Apr 2007 16:11:43Zthis is not just australian journalism, but all of them.. ign , gamespot.. they all are paid to give better scores... let's face it... a bad review for an important game can have a large impact on sales.. so it's understandable.. the same thing happens in the film industry.. This will always happen.. it's definitely not surprizing. I know first hand that this happens.. especially with large sites like ign and gamespot.
  • 7. Anonymous Coward - Sun, 1 Apr 2007 16:50:25ZGame journalists that think they're better than game developers? Tell me that isnt so.
  • 8. Anonymous Coward - Tue, 3 Apr 2007 21:50:35ZHmm so publishers who spend big on advertising can't influence game review score.

    Check out Halo 2 on metacritic and ask yourself is it really worth 30 odd perfect 100(percent) scores?

  • 9. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 4 Apr 2007 16:9:32ZI haven't read all of this, just don't have the time to, but... AC#7, you are spot on. The attitude I have gotten from some of these creeps, and not just from a small scale event of local rag, but I am talking E3 utter wankers.
  • 10. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 4 Apr 2007 19:18:48Zya i agree, I am sick of these game journalists.. they come across as know it alls and think they know everything when it comes to why a game is good etc.. what would they know.. seriously.. they are wankers. I can't stand them actually. Even at the big websites you get some real idiots who just ooze bitterness.. before they play your game it's like they already know what to give it and have a pre-judgement .. most of the time they hardly play the game unless it's something they are interested in. I notice that video game magazines however are a bit more forgiving and the journalists are better than internet sites.
  • 11. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 4 Apr 2007 19:22:8ZI remember working on a racing game and reading the ign reviewer say .. before he even played the game.. " I don't care for racing games and don't like them, this seemed like it didn't do anything new " etc.. I got bored of it after a while.. like if he doesn't even like racing games then his already going to give it a bad review.. even if the game was good.
  • 12. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 4 Apr 2007 20:34:41ZI have seen and read about of so many dodgy practices and dubious reviews from game journalists. What do you expect? When there is no industry watchdog for gaming journalism, this stuff will remain rife. There is absolutely nothing to keep them honest.
  • 13. Anonymous Coward - Wed, 4 Apr 2007 20:42:5ZI've had one give me so much attitude like he knew all about me or something and new all about what went on in a particular project.

    The guy didn't know d*ck!

    He wasn't, I was on that project - my name is in the credits after all. No need to off-load your resentment at not being hired as the world's greatest whatever on to me, pal... it's not my fault that no one will recognise your "genius" and your stuck as a game jurno.

    Yet this guy with his bad hair, pasty skin and yellow teeth, thought he knew me some how and had the right to creep on up to me at a conference, and start his slimey attack.

    Turns out it was some guy on the team that got fired and had a grudge against me, that was spreading crap. If that isn't bad enough, to get this jerk coming up to your face and alluding like he knew from first-hand experience... made me sick.

    He really came across as some kind of stalker. And the last I knew, this guy was working for the local rags - I hope he addressed his hygiene however.

  • 14. tcb - Thu, 5 Apr 2007 0:54:10ZLike any profession some games journos are creeps and others are great people. The really arrogant ones tend to be the most insecure. They think that by attacking everything they are holding up some great journalistic tradition. They believe that by being critical they help the industry in a sea of other people who have gone soft. In a certain way they are right, but you have also see merit around you, and try to really work out why something bugs you rather than spout bile because a game does do exactly what you want it to.

    As to the rest of the stuff about the industry, it's a crock of bull. Show me an industry where PR people don't try to influence people to get a positive result for their product. That's their job. As a games journalist it's your job to see through the crap and get the info you need to make the best article possible. People don't always do their job properly, but that's true in every industry.

There's a very interesting and quite damning editorial up on Gamearena concerning Australian games "journalism" by someone who's been in the field for a number of years. Richie Young, former editor of the Official PlayStation 2 Magazine, slams the self-important attitudes of many of his colleagues, questions their journalistic integrity, and reveals some of the shenanigans that local games reviewers endulge in...

1)Fact: games reviewers have been offered either sex or money to change a review score. To quote the PR person I am referring to: "I will do ANYTHING if you can change the score. Just tell me what it will take..."

3)Fact: PR companies identify journalists they want to impress... and go about in unashamedly. This includes campaigning them for better coverage by using elaborate gifts like dinners, overseas trips...

5)Fact: most game reviewers get paid little, which increases the likelihood that they will fall into the trap of temptation. This is not their fault, but a reality of the industry.

There's a second part to the editorial coming up soon, but who knew this sort of thing was so prolific around these parts!

News

Imagine doing away with hands completely and controlling games directly with your mind. Sounds like a great idea, and it looks like an Australian company is showcasing such technology at the Game Developers Conference this year. The helmet from Emotiv Systems claims to read your brain waves, and a software solution will also read your facial expressions as well...

There are three key software elements accompanying the hardware: Expressiv, Affectiv and Cognitiv. Expressiv identifies facial expressions to allow games developers to create characters that will interact with you accordingly while Affectiv measures players' discreet emotional states like excitement or calmness. The Cognitiv suite detects players' conscious thoughts, letting them move or manipulate objects in the game with brain power alone.

The device has had received some scrutiny though, with some experts doubting its real ability to read and interpret brain signals, but here's hoping Emotiv Systems are onto something great.

Read the article over at Computeractive.co.uk!

News

Second Life is a big thing; a massively multiplayer realm where almost anything is possible. It’s very much an easy step to make a virtual business, and indeed, many profit off their dealings in this ‘SL Universe’. What’s more than that, it also seems like the big companies are getting involved. The newest to join the fold? The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Aussie interactive TV provider Two Way TV Australia will soon be making the push into the virtual world.

They wouldn’t be the first. Companies such as Telstra, who have recently opened up their own Second Life interactive location, have been utilizing the online environment as a cheap advertising solution and a commercial front – as well as other big names, such as Dell, Toyota, Adidas, IBM, and Intel.

Craig Middleton, Telstra’s spokesperson spoke on ‘The Pond’, Telstra’s Second Life home:

Visitors will be able to do pretty much what they can at BigPond.com - buy songs, watch movies and so on - as well as explore the fascinating online presence we are creating. It will be highly interactive - fly around a scale replica of Uluru or walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

So the question is, is it the future of online businesses to be completely interactive and simulated? The following link has more.

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